Tear gas and rubber bullets fired as Malende picks nomination forms

By Sania Babirye

Tear gas and rubber bullets have been fired by police at the people power movement headquarters in Kamyokya as police tried to arrest Shamim Malende a people power member who had gone to pick her nomination form for the Kampala woman MP seat.

According to police, Malende the people power supporter flouted standard operation procedures by gathering a group of people to escort her to the party headquarters to pick forms.

As a result, police tried to arrest her however, she was protected by her supporters who charged at police forcing police to fire teargas and bullets to disperse the angry youths.

Malende later forced her way into the party offices escaping arrest.

She has described the incident as uncalled for but not surprising saying that they are used to the unprofessional conduct of the police .

She however says that she will not be intimidated .

Malende will be battling for the seat with among others FDC’s Dr.Stella Nyanzi who has already been nominated by the FDC party to stand on the party ticket.

The seat is currently being represented by estranged FDCs Nagayi Nabilla who has not yet expressed any intentions to stand again.

Kabuleta’s case against electoral commission slated for hearing on 14th August

By Sania Babirye

The Electoral commission has asked the High court to dismiss a case in which presidential aspirant and veteran journalist turned , preacher Joseph Kabuleta is challenging the directive by the Electoral body to hold scientific/digital campaigns for the coming 2021 General elections.

The said case had come up for hearing before Justice Esther Nambayo, however, lawyers representing Uganda Electoral commission have told court that Kabuleta pre-maturely brought the said petition before court without first exhausting necessary steps within the Electoral commission .

According to EC , section 15 of its Act, has avenues through which such matters raised by Kabuleta can be resolved internally and if dissatisfied with the outcome, then someone can seek court redress.

EC further told court that the said petition was filed before court and should not be heard.

Justice Nambayo has set the 14th of August to giver her ruling.

Through his lawyers of Anthony Wameeli, Kabuleta was court to stop the scientific revised election roadmap until when the country is able to hold normal elections without restrictions.

Kabuleta also wants orders compelling government to declare a state of emergency and postpone next year’s elections in order to enable citizens express their will and consent on how they should be governed .

In his application, Kabuleta claims that digital elections dictated by the EC under the guise of preventing further spread of Covid- 19 pandemic , are meant to give incumbents an advantage over new contenders because the former category already has control over the existing media out-lets on top of having enormous followers on social media.

He further claims that the scientific elections will frustrate public participation in matters regarding their governance as it gags people from freely expressing their views to contending candidates and bars others from offering themselves for election .

On the 16th of June 2020 EC declared a scientific revised 2021 general elections banning politicians from holding public political rallies due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic .

Kabuleta says the pandemic is just an excuse to violate people’s rights basing on mere anticipations that the situation will be worse at the time of holding campaigns yet there are countries like Ghana , Burundi , Malawi and America where aspiring candidates hold public rallies at the moment.

FDC to petition EC over scientific campaigns violation by some politicians

By Sania Babirye

Forum for Democratic change says it is going to petition the Uganda Electoral commission on what it says the continued violation of the guidelines for the scientific campaigns by some politicians.

Addressing the media today, party spoke person Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that they continue to see a specific group of politicians not observing the guidelines by going to campaign Publicly instead of using radio or TV stations as stated by the electoral commission.

Ssemujjju has cited among the many health minister Jane Ruth Aceng whose picture went viral over the weekend as she was caught allegedly talking to her voters face to face .

Another video of minister Aceng has angered the public as she was seen meeting a crowd of people without either wearing face masks or observing the social distancing directive.

The minister for information Judith Nabakooba has since come out and apologized on behalf of government over the ministers actions that are also against the standard operation procedures of combating COVID-19.

EC says no money for prisoners and Ugandans abroad to vote

By Sania Babirye

The electoral commission has filed an application in the high court asking court to give them more time to solicit for funds to allow prisoners and Ugandans abroad to be able to vote after 2021 generals.

The application comes after high court judge Lydia Mugambe on the 18th of June ordered EC to make sure that prisoners and Ugandans abroad participate in all general elections including the coming generals.

However, according to an affidavit sworn in by one of the commission’s legal officer Hamid Lugoloobi, the commission says it does not have resources available to allow the said two group of people to participate in the coming general elections.

Lugoloobi further reveals that currently the available resources allocated to the commission for the year 2020/2021 can only handle already registered Ugandans.

He adds that without another source of independent funding , the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the limited time frame of only 7 months to the polls, the Electoral commission cannot open the voter register to include the two categories of Ugandans.

Lugoloobi has now asked the high court to reviews it’s order in which it recognized the rights of inmates and people in the diaspora to vote in the next election and instead allows the EC embark on the process in the near future .

Court has set the 13th of this month to hear the said application before justice Esta Nambayo.

Karuhanga and Mwiru join Muntu’s ANT

By Robert Segawa

Jinja East Member of Parliament Paul Mwiru on ticket of Forum for Democratic Change and Gerald Karuhanga an independent legislator for Ntungamo municipality have today announced that they are joining the new political party Alliance for National Transformation (ANT).

The two legislators were officially unveiled today during a news conference at party’s office in Kampala.

In his remarks Gerald Karuhanga said that his dream was to be part of winning team (ANT) because its formation and structure constitute of very critical values that cater for Ugandan’s needs.

While Paul Mwiru thanked ANT members for accepting to receive him.

Alice Alaso the acting coordinator for ANT welcomed the two legislators and said there is much to do including mobilization to ensure the party delivers the changes in governance.

FDC rejects scientific elections

By Sania Babirye

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change has rejected what it has described as digital elections because they allegedly compromise the quality of the outcome.

FDC says holding a normal election on the dates stipulated in the Constitution (January-February 2020) as announced by the Electoral Commission is a big risk. However, FDC also notes that if the country chooses to do so, then, the said elections must be transparent as commanded by the Constitution.

Addressing the media during their weekly press briefing, party spokesperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said that the Constitution provides for only normal elections where candidates freely interact with the electorate and any attempt to modify these elections will be unlawful.

He says as a party, they made it clear to the Electoral Commission that extension of the term of the President and Parliament as is being suggested in some quarters cannot happen because it is not supported by the Constitution.

According to Ssemujju, the People’s Government and the FDC are in final phases of producing a position paper that calls for a transitional arrangement of when the term of office for the president, Parliament and local governments should come to an end.

He says they will circulate this document to all political players, civil society and to religious leaders to facilitate a national dialogue and consensus.

“We think the country should allow the term of office for the current administration to expire. When it does so, an interim council should run the government and organize elections when the pandemic is over. The nature of the council and its members should be agreed upon by all political players in the country.” Semujju said.

Ssemujju says this will resolve the current impasse and that Parliament can make the necessary changes to the Constitution and electoral laws to accommodate this situation.

Katikiro asks electoral commission to consult stakeholders

By Daudi Zirimala

The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga has warned the electoral commission against organizing a general election without fully consulting all stakeholders saying such a process will contested in court’s of law.

speaking during the Buganda Great Lukiiko Mayiga noted that electoral commission would consult all concerned parties including cultural institutions on how best elections could be conducted amidst the covid-19 pandemic without being partisan.

Mayiga says for the electoral commission to implement the revised electoral road map it has to first consult political parties,Uganda law society,cultural institutions, elders forum among other in order to have a free and fair elections come 2021

Tumukunde demands revision of EC 2021 election road map

Former security minister Lt Gen. Henry Tumukunde who at the beginning of this year declared his interest to contest for the presidency, has called for a postponement of the 2021 general election.

Speaking to journalists at his home in Kololo, Tumukunde said it’s impractical to have ‘meaningful’ elections in the country where people can choose their leaders in a free and fair manner, going by the revised roadmap of the electoral commission.

Last week, the Electoral Commission chairman, Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said they were pushing ahead with the elections amidst the Coronavirus pandemic scare in order to comply with the dictates of the constitution. Under article 61 [2] of the constitution, the Electoral Commission is mandated to organize an election in the first 30 days of the last 122 days to the expiry of the term of office of the president, parliament or local government.

However, Byabakama said despite pushing ahead with the elections, it doesn’t mean that they are oblivious of the danger posed by the Coronavirus. To reduce on the risk, he said, they were banning all open-air campaigns in favour of digital campaigning where candidates use the media.

But to Tumukunde, this is a nonstarter especially when one considers the ownership of media in Uganda.

He called on the Electoral Commission to continue engaging all stakeholders in order to agree on a compromise position. He said elections in the past have caused a war in Uganda which resulted into the NRM taking over power in 1986, therefore, they shouldn’t be played with.

However speaking on Tuesday to political party leaders under their umbrella organization National Consultative Forum, Byabakama said they have no powers to amend the law to extend the election or declare a state of emergency which would enable the extension of the election. “Extending an election is a work of another agency; if it tells us to stop, we will stop,” said Byabakama.

Asked what he would do were the Electoral Commission refuses to adhere to his proposals, Tumukunde said he’s consulting with other opposition political players to come up with a common ground. He added that if they are unsuccessful in stopping the Electoral Commission from organizing next years’ elections and there is no united front against it, then he will have no doubt but to be part of it.

“We shall do everything possible to stop a negative election or a wrongly done election from taking place and once we discuss and agree on a position, I will be with them. I don’t have to be escorting them but I’m dependable and you can count on me. If their position doesn’t favour my deep thinking on the matter, I will choose the course of the group that I’m leading,” said Tumukunde.

UPC launches internal elections road map

By Daudi Zirimala

The Uganda People’s Congress ( UPC) has released the internal road map and guidelines for party members interested in various political positions and the delegates.

According to the party Secretary General Fred Ebil, those interested in the positions of the party presidency, Members of Parliament, LC5 and city mayors are supposed to pick their nomination forms from the party headquarters.

He says the Uganda People’s Congress cabinet has also approved dates for Delegates conference slated to take place on 1st August to select party flag bearers on different positions.

He however noted that all the party activities will be conducted under guidance released by the independent electoral commission of Uganda and ministry of health.

Tumukunde’s case pushed to August

By Sania Babirye

City hall court has adjourned further mention of the case in which 2021 Presidential hopeful LT.Gen. Henry Tumukunde is charged with treason and four counts of unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition to August this year.

Lt.Gen.Tumukunde who was granted bail on the 11 of May after spending almost three months in Luzira prison appeared before city hall grade one magistrate Valerian Tuhimbise .

State has informed court that investigations into both cases are still ongoing asking for more time to be completed

On 18 of March 2020, Tumukunde was remanded to Luzira prison after he pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

On the treason charge, Prosecution states that on the 5th of March 2020 while appearing on a morning show at one of the local Tv stations in Kamwokya, the Rt. Lt Gen made utterances which were calculated to instigated the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause a unlawful change of government

On the unlawful possession fire arms and ammunition, its states that on the 13th of March 2020 at his office Impala Avenue in Kololo,was found in possession of 2 guns; an Ak47 and a pistol . Prosecution further states that he is charged with unlawful possession of 34 rounds of ammunition’s without a valid firearm license

Tumukunde however told court on the charges of being in possession of firearms and ammunition, he was in lawful possession of the said gun since it was given to him with the said ammunition as a retired Gen .

Treason, is a capital case bailable and triable only by the High court .